The Cincinnati Reds have five of Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects for the 2018 season. The list, which is the gold standard for prospect lists on a national level, was just released this morning and can be found here.
Nick Senzel leads the way among Cincinnati Reds prospects. The third baseman checks in at #7 on the list. It marks the second straight season in which he is inside of the Top 10. Since the lists began in 1990, Nick Senzel and Homer Bailey are the only Reds prospects to have made two Top 10 lists. During the 2017 season the former #2 overall draft pick hit .321/.391/.514 between Daytona and Pensacola.
Hunter Greene cracks the list next for the organization. The right handed pitcher ranks 29th overall. He, like Senzel, was also the #2 overall pick in his draft. The 18-year-old didn’t spend much time on the mound during the 2017 season after being drafted. He threw just 4.1 innings, and served as designated hitter in seven more games. Late in the season he decided to focus solely on being a pitcher. Reports out of instructional league, where he pitched more than he had in the regular season, were very strong.
Marking three top 50 prospects in 2018, Taylor Trammell jumps up to 48th on the list. The outfielder spent the entire 2017 season with the Dayton Dragons. Trammell had a well rounded season, hitting .281/.368/.450 in the Midwest League. He showed off some power, with 24 doubles, 10 triples and 13 home runs. He also showed off plenty of speed, racking up 41 stolen bases during the season.
Jumping down the list we see Tyler Mahle show up 90th on the Top 100. The 22-year-old right hander spent time at three different levels in 2017. He began in Pensacola where he posted a 1.59 ERA in 85.0 innings. That earned a promotion to Triple-A Louisville where he barely missed a beat, posting a 2.73 ERA in 59.1 innings. The Reds then called him up in September where he posted a 2.70 ERA in 20.0 innings in the Major Leagues. Known for his control, he walked just 30 batters with 138 strikeouts in 144.1 innings in the minors this past season.
Rounding out the Reds players on the list, and almost the entire list itself, is Jesse Winker. The outfielder came in as the 98th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America. Most of his 2017 season was spent in Triple-A. With the Bats in Louisville he hit .314/.395/.408 over 85 games. The left handed hitter did see a decent chunk of time in the Major Leagues during the season. In 47 games he would hit .298/.375/.529. After hitting just two home runs in Triple-A over 374 plate appearances he crushed seven homers in just 137 plate appearances for the Reds. This marks a return for Winker to the Top 100 list, where he resided for the 2015 and 2016 lists, but missed out last season.
How do the Reds stack up to the NL Central?
Looking at the National League Central division, the Reds seem to be a tad behind the Brewers on this list, but ahead of everyone else. The Brewers have six Top 100 prospects, led by #18 Lewis Brinson. The Reds have five players on the list, as noted above. The Cardinals have four, led by Alex Reyes who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. He’s their only Top 50 prospect. The Pirates have two prospects on the list. Both are in the Top 50, led by Mitch Keller at #12. The Chicago Cubs don’t have a single prospect on the list.
Earlier this morning I wrote about the Reds history in the Top 100 lists at Baseball America. In there I used a crude AP Style point system to rank the Top 100 classes for the Reds since 1990. Using that same format, here’s how the division stacks up this year:
Most of the Reds rankings seem about as expect, with one exception. I thought that Tyler Mahle would rank higher on the list. My belief was that he would fall somewhere in that 50-75 range, closer to 50. Seeing him down at 90th was a surprise. The other surprise, though not nearly as much, was Taylor Trammell. While I’m quite high on Trammell, I thought he’d wind up about 15-20 spots lower than he did. Personally, I’d have him about where he ranks (based on historical rankings – I haven’t done a deep dive into these specific rankings in terms of who the other 95 players are) right now – I just thought that scouts concerns about his arm and possibly pushing him to left field would cause a bit of a drop versus my belief that while his arm isn’t great, it’s enough to handle center field every day.